Jan 15, 2018

Mixed Veggie Strips Stir-Fry with Aromatic Dried Shrimps

Dried shrimps hold the key to success for this mixed veggies stir-fry. Make sure to sear the finely chopped shrimps till almost burnt before adding all the veggie strips. The flavored oil will permeate these healthy ingredients, adding some sparks to a rather plain dish. 

Mixed Veggie strips stir-fry -


  • 175 grams string beans
  • 150 grams wood ear 
  • 150 grams king oyster mushroom
  • 8 baby corn
  • 3 tablespoons dried shrimps
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 to 2 red chilies
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon black vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Rinse the dried shrimps and soak in cold water for about 10 minutes. Dry well with a kitchen towel first then give it a fine chop. Set aside for later use.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil then add in the wood ear, use moist wood ear, not the dried version. Cook for about 10 seconds then drain out the liquid. Remove the tougher center then slice the remaining section.

Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves. Destem the red chilies and finely chop the remaining section. Peel and slice the onion. Slice the baby corn and king oyster mushrooms into thinner strips. Cut the string beans into shorter sections, about 2 inches in length.

Drizzle some olive oil to evenly coat the bottom of the pan. Turn to medium heat and add in dried shrimps along with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Sear till bubbling and the dried shrimps gradually turn to darker color.

Change to medium high heat. Add in onion, garlic, and chilies. Cook till the onion turns translucent.

Add in string beans first and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Then add in the remaining veggie strips. Mix well and cook for another minute or so. Add in 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of black vinegar. Keep stir-frying till the sauce nearly dried up. Taste and adjust with salt if needed.

The reason why the string beans are added to the pan first is to help stripping away that raw grassy taste. Never a big fan of it. But of course you can still cook all the veggie strips at the same time. Be free and adjust the ingredients per your preference. Recipes should act as a guide, instead of a definite rule to follow.

Other stir-fry veggies recipe:

Jan 8, 2018

Cod Fillets with Colorful Tomato Basil Sauce

One common way to cook cod the Chinese way is by steaming it with some fermented black beans and soy sauce, some might like it with crunchy fermented soybeans sprinkle on top. But I want something juicy this time, something I can drizzle the sauce all over starchy sides. So here it is, cod fillets served with juicy, sourish, and slightly sweet tomato basil sauce.

Cod fillets with colorful tomato basil sauce -

Ingredients (about 2 servings)?

  • 2 medium cod fillets (skin removed)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups colorful cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup basil 
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 red chili
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Some salt
  • Some freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking dish with foil.

Colorful cherry tomatoes can be a rare find in Taiwan. I've been passing by these beauties many times since the price tag is not so adorable. However, since I'm already using such high quality cod fillets, I know these tomatoes will not disappoint, and it won't hurt that bad to indulge a little once a while.

Halve these tomatoes. 

Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves. Destem the chili and finely chop the remaining section. Sprinkle some salt and black pepper on both sides of the cod fillets. Finely chop the basil leaves. Zest and juice half lemon.

Drizzle some oil to the pan and turn to medium high heat. Once warmed, add in the fish fillets and sear till colored, should be golden to slightly browned. Flip and sear the other side till colored.

Transfer the fillets to prepared baking dish and into the oven for 5 minutes or longer depending on the thickness of the fish. 

Using the same pan with medium heat, add in garlic and chili along with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Give it a quick sear then add in halved tomatoes. Cook till softened but not mushed. Turn to medium high heat. Add in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and dry white wine to deglaze the pan. Cook till the sauce has been reduced by about half.

Mix in chopped basil leaves and cook for another 10 seconds or so.

Remove the fish fillets from the oven and transfer onto the serving plate/s. Scoop the tomato basil sauce over and it's ready to serve. 

This fish recipe is sturdy enough to be the main dish itself. Maybe serve it with other starchy ingredients such as potatoes or steamed white rice. 

Even though it's more of a western dish, but trust me, the sauce tastes even better when spooned over the rice. These two make a powerful combo. 

Other fish recipes: